What You Didn't Know About Rep. Joe Barton of Texas
- Joe Linus Barton was born on Sept. 15, 1949, in Waco, Texas. His father worked as a salesman for an agriculture company. His middle name comes from his grandfather, a central Texas traveling Methodist minister.
- Barton was awarded a four-year scholarship to Texas A&M University, where he was named the Class of 1972's outstanding industrial engineering student. He also holds a master's of science degree from Purdue University.
- Barton reportedly tried to join the reserves in 1971 but was rejected because of high blood pressure and a broken ankle.
- After graduate school, he worked in business before being selected as a White House fellow for the Department of Energy under President Reagan from 1981 to 1982.
- Barton returned to Texas and the business world before his election to the House of Representatives in 1984. Dick Armey, Tom DeLay, and three other Republicans were also elected in 1984, a group known as the "Texas 6-Pack." In 1993, he made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate. He has been re-elected to his 12th term in the House.
- In 2004, the Houston Chronicle reported: "Despite his long tenure in Washington, Barton retains one of the thickest drawls among the Texas delegation."
- Barton enjoys playing Texas Hold'em poker. He is said to have made numerous trips to Las Vegas and once, during a committee hearing, said: "Well, we have to goyou know, to quote a poker term, we either would draw or go all in."
- Another memorable Barton quote, during a hearing: "We're mad as h-e-l-l, and we're not going to take it anymore." Apparently, he didn't want to swear during the hearing on indecency.
- Barton met his wife, Terri, when she worked at the University of Texas. His spokeswoman quipped that "that was very difficult for him at first because he's an Aggie."
- Barton has homes in Ennis and Arlington, Texas. He has four children, two stepchildren, and four grandchildren.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Carroll's Federal Directory
Federal News Service
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Los Angeles Times